Speeches recovered from the Conservative party’s online archive More…

Cairns: Celebrating Commonwealth Day in Wales

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this debate. It is important to thank the Business Committee and the Business Minister for agreeing to such a debate being tabled at the request of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association executive.

As has been said, health and vitality is the theme behind the Commonwealth Day celebrations this week. Commonwealth Day itself was on Monday, but I cannot think of a better day for this debate to be held—and given that we did not have a formal session on Monday—than the day of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Australia. I use this opportunity to congratulate the Welsh team and to wish it well in bringing success to Wales and in promoting our nation throughout the Commonwealth and the world.

There is no doubt that the Commonwealth has played a significant part in the development of Wales as a nation and of the UK. It has contributed largely to the diversity of our nation, from which we have benefited in terms of healthcare and business and entrepreneurship, and in terms of the cultural enrichment that has come as a result of our links with the Commonwealth.

To highlight a specific example, on Monday, I had the privilege of attending Hafod Primary School, which is in a Communities First area in Swansea. I went to the school with every expectation of having to make allowances for a challenging educational environment, largely because of the diverse make-up of the pupils, 46 per cent of whom come from an ethnic minority background, and where nine different languages are spoken by the pupils.

However, how wrong I was to hold that view, because the standards of education and discipline and the positive culture in the school were fantastic. That proves to me that every school, with the right sort of environment and attitude, can succeed, irrespective of its make-up.

John Griffiths highlighted the special link that Wales has with Lesotho, which has evolved over many years. However, the Assembly branch of the CPA is seeking to develop that relationship on an Assembly-to-parliament basis, and some Members had the opportunity last year of establishing and forming that relationship in a fact-finding mission to establish how we can best work.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is seeking to support the democracy and new parliament in Lesotho and to build on that relationship by bringing officials from Lesotho to the Assembly, and through officials from the Assembly going to Lesotho, so that we can support the good relationship that already exists between non-governmental organisations.

We have had celebrations today, and John Griffiths has highlighted the question-and-answer session that took place in the old Chamber. In addition, pupils from Cathays High School performed a song and dance in an international language, if you like, in the Neuadd of the new Chamber.

In my conversations with them, they told me that they are seeking to raise money to buy 10 cows for Lesotho, and the income from those cows will go towards funding a school in one of the towns in Lesotho.

That demonstrates what can be achieved by non-governmental organisations and the education system, but also through the Assembly Government and the Assembly itself. The purpose of the CPA is to promote democracy and personal development, and to strengthen democracy in these nations. We are doing everything that we can to support that.

I want to highlight an issue that was brought to my attention by delegates from Malawi at the last CPA conference. They expressed concerns that the NHS in the UK, and specifically in Wales, is recruiting from Malawi clinicians, and nurses in particular, who have a speciality in HIV/Aids.

Cleary, there is a shortage of such professionals here, but Malawi has a greater need for them. Bearing in mind the resources that Malawi invests in such skills and medical care, it has concerns that we are poaching nurses and attracting them with our higher standards of living and higher salary levels. As a result, the executive of the CPA took the matter up with the Minister, and he has taken positive action to prevent that from happening.

It is already the policy of the Welsh health service not to recruit people with these vital skills from some of these developing nations, but there was a concern that there is potential for back-door entry through agency nursing. I know that agency nursing is not used to the same degree as it was, but I recognise the fact that the Minister for Health and Social Services has introduced steps that will prevent that from happening from now on, if it was happening at all; I am not saying that it was, but that was certainly the accusation that came from Malawi. We can therefore communicate to Malawi at the next conference that action has been taken on that.

I am conscious that time is short, therefore I will conclude by saying that I am grateful to Assembly Members for agreeing to this debate in celebration of the Commonwealth Day. It is important to recognise that Wales gets an awful lot out of being part of the Commonwealth, but some of the developing nations within the Commonwealth will get an awful lot more if we play our full part."

"Diolch am y cyfle i gyfrannu at y ddadl hon. Mae'n bwysig diolch i'r Pwyllgor Busnes a'r Trefnydd am gytuno i ddadl o'r fath gael ei chyflwyno ar gais gweithrediaeth Cymdeithas Seneddol y Gymanwlad.

Fel y dywedwyd eisoes, mae iechyd a bywiogrwydd yn thema dathliadau Diwrnod y Gymanwlad yr wythnos hon. Yr oedd Diwrnod y Gymanwlad ei hun ddydd Llun, ond ni allaf feddwl am ddiwrnod gwell i'r ddadl hon gael ei chynnal—ac o gofio na chawsom gyfarfod ffurfiol ddydd Llun—na diwrnod seremoni agor Gemau'r Gymanwlad yn Awstralia.

Manteisiaf ar y cyfle hwn i longyfarch tîm Cymru ac i ddymuno'n dda iddo wrth sicrhau llwyddiant i Gymru ac wrth hyrwyddo ein gwlad ledled y Gymanwlad a'r byd.

Yn ddi-au, mae'r Gymanwlad wedi chwarae rhan fawr wrth ddatblygu Cymru fel gwlad ac wrth ddatblygu'r DU. Mae wedi cyfrannu'n fawr at amrywiaeth ein gwlad, ac yr ydym wedi cael budd o hynny o ran gofal iechyd a busnes ac entrepreneuriaeth, ac o ran y cyfoethogi diwylliannol sydd wedi deillio o'n cysylltiadau â'r Gymanwlad.

I amlygu enghraifft benodol, ddydd Llun, cefais y fraint o fynychu Ysgol Gynradd Hafod, sydd mewn ardal Cymunedau yn Gyntaf yn Abertawe. Euthum i'r ysgol gan ddisgwyl gorfod ystyried amgylchedd addysgol heriol, yn bennaf oherwydd amrywiaeth y disgyblion, y daw 46 y cant ohonynt o gefndiroedd lleiafrifoedd ethnig, a lle y siaredir naw iaith wahanol gan y disgyblion.

Fodd bynnag, yr oedd y farn honno yn anghywir, am fod safonau'r addysg a'r ddisgyblaeth a'r diwylliant cadarnhaol yn yr ysgol yn wych. Mae hynny'n profi imi y gall pob ysgol lwyddo, gyda'r math cywir o amgylchedd ac agwedd, waeth beth fo'i chyfansoddiad.

Amlygodd John Griffiths y cyswllt arbennig sy'n bodoli rhwng Cymru a Lesotho, sydd wedi datblygu dros sawl blwyddyn. Fodd bynnag, mae cangen Cymdeithas Seneddol y Gymanwlad yn y Cynulliad yn ceisio datblygu'r gydberthynas honno rhwng y Cynulliad a'r senedd, a chafodd rhai Aelodau y cyfle y llynedd i feithrin y gydberthynas honno mewn cenhadaeth ymchwiliol i nodi sut y gallwn weithio gyda'n gilydd orau.

Mae Cymdeithas Seneddol y Gymanwlad yn ceisio cefnogi'r ddemocratiaeth a'r senedd newydd yn Lesotho a datblygu'r gydberthynas honno drwy drefnu i swyddogion o Lesotho ddod i'r Cynulliad, a thrwy drefnu i swyddogion o'r Cynulliad fynd i Lesotho, fel y gallwn gefnogi'r gydberthynas dda sy'n bodoli eisoes rhwng sefydliadau anllywodraethol.

Cawsom ddathliadau heddiw, ac mae John Griffiths wedi amlygu'r sesiwn holi ac ateb a gynhaliwyd yn yr hen Siambr. Yn ogystal, perfformiodd disgyblion o Ysgol Uwchradd Cathays gân a dawns mewn iaith ryngwladol, fel petai, yn Neuadd y Siambr newydd.

Pan oeddwn yn siarad â hwy, bu iddynt ddweud wrthym eu bod yn ceisio codi arian i brynu 10 buwch i Lesotho, a bydd yr incwm o'r gwartheg hynny yn mynd tuag at ariannu ysgol yn un o drefi Lesotho. Dengys hynny yr hyn y gall sefydliadau anllywodraethol a'r system addysg ei gyflawni, ond hefyd yr hyn y gellir ei gyflawni drwy Lywodraeth y Cynulliad a'r Cynulliad ei hun. Diben Cymdeithas Seneddol y Gymanwlad yw hyrwyddo democratiaeth a datblygu personol, ac atgyfnerthu democratiaeth yn y gwledydd hyn. Yr ydym yn gwneud popeth a allwn i gefnogi hynny.

Yr wyf hefyd am amlygu mater a ddygwyd i'm sylw gan gynadleddwyr o Malawi yng nghynhadledd ddiwethaf Cymdeithas Seneddol y Gymanwlad. Bu iddynt fynegi pryderon bod y GIG yn y DU, ac yn benodol yng Nghymru, yn recriwtio clinigwyr o Malawi, a nyrsys yn benodol, sydd ag arbenigedd ym maes HIV/AIDS. Mae'n amlwg bod prinder gweithwyr proffesiynol o'r fath yma, ond mae eu hangen fwy ar Malawi.

O gofio'r adnoddau y mae Malawi yn eu buddsoddi mewn sgiliau a gofal meddygol o'r fath, mae'n pryderu ein bod yn dwyn nyrsys ac yn eu denu yn sgîl ein safonau byw uwch a chyflogau uwch. O ganlyniad, cododd gweithrediaeth Cymdeithas Seneddol y Gymanwlad y mater gyda'r Gweinidog, ac mae wedi cymryd camau cadarnhaol i atal hynny rhag digwydd.

Polisi gwasanaeth iechyd Cymru eisoes yw peidio â recriwtio pobl gyda'r sgiliau hanfodol hyn o rai o'r gwledydd hyn sy'n datblygu, ond cafwyd pryder bod posibilrwydd iddynt gyrraedd drwy'r drws cefn drwy asiantaethau nyrsio.

Gwn na ddefnyddir asiantaethau nyrsio i'r un graddau ag yn y gorffennol, ond cydnabyddaf y ffaith bod y Gweinidog dros Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol wedi cyflwyno camau a fydd yn atal hynny rhag digwydd o hyn ymlaen, os oedd yn digwydd o gwbl; ni ddywedais fod hynny'n digwydd, ond yn sicr dyna'r cyhuddiad a ddaeth o Malawi. Felly, gallwn gyfleu i swyddogion Malawi yn y gynhadledd nesaf y camau sydd wedi'u cymryd yn hynny o beth.

Yr wyf yn ymwybodol bod amser yn brin, felly deuaf i ben drwy ddweud fy mod yn ddiolchgar i Aelodau'r Cynulliad am gytuno i gynnal y ddadl hon i ddathlu Diwrnod y Gymanwlad. Mae'n bwysig cydnabod bod Cymru yn cael llawer o fudd yn sgîl bod yn rhan o'r Gymanwlad, ond bydd rhai o'r gwledydd sy'n datblygu o fewn y Gymanwlad yn cael llawer mwy o fudd os chwaraewn ein rhan lawn."

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech